Sunday, June 24, 2012

A funny story

The background: In certain areas of my assignmnet I do really well because there is a set dialog. I have that memorized and while in Provo my tutor really worked with me and would not let me get lazy and slide over pronunciation. I sound really good. In fact the other day a patron thought I was Brazilian because I sounded so good.

On Saturday night I was waiting with a new missionary sister who just arrived from the states. She had previously served a two year mission in Brazil and was back for more. She has language skills....she can speak and understand Portuguese. Anyway while we were waiting for our husbands to come this sweet Brazilian sister who I had been working with earlier, approaches me and starts talking. I am picking up a word or two here and there. I know she is telling me I something about my speaking but not a whole lot of anything else. I smiled, nodded, said thank you and then did the cheek to cheek, kiss the air thing and she left happy.

My friend asked if I got any of what she said. I admitted I did not get a whole lot of it. She laughed and said the sister was telling me how well I had picked up the language in such a short period of time and how I didn't need to have any worries about learning the language. Well I got a laugh out of that. Would that qualify as irony?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

An anniversary of sorts

Two months ago today we arrived in Brazil. The language is getting better, slowly. Slowly being the operative word. The other day I was in the temple and a new (to me) temple worker came up to me and asked me a question. I had no idea what she was talking about so I gave her the deer in headlights look, shook my head and said I didn't understand. She went off and pretty soon she was back. Now she says to me in Portuguese, really, really slow: They---- told---- me--- you--- can--- understand--- if---- I talk ---really -- slow. (which she was) Have --- you --- seen --- the --- coordinator? I had just seen the coordinator go into the bathroom so I told her so. She left a happy camper and minutes later I saw them together. I guess I have a reputation. But it really made me laugh thinking about how slow she was talking but I guess it was effective since I did understand. I am getting better each day and am making connections with certain people who will take the time and trouble to talk with me. Let's face it - I am work.

We work five days a week in the temple for eight hours a day. Since those eight hours span a meal we always eat either lunch or dinner, depending on our schedule, in the temple cafeteria. We make that our main meal of the day. The other meal is a sandwich or something light. On Sundays when we are at the MTC we eat in the cafeteria there. So basically I cook only one meal a week. What is not to like about that?

We really enjoy the company of other North American missionaries here. There are three doctors and their wives, one lawyer and his wife, and a couple of accountants with their wives. We get together every Sunday when we go the the MTC to serve/work with the missionaries there and then on Monday nights we have Family Home Evening together. They are the nicest people ever.

Time is going by so fast. I need to put more effort into studying the language. I don't want to come home with regrets. This is really a great experience.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Sticker Shock

When doing our grocery shopping we pass by a shoe store in the mall. The prices of the shoes are astounding. I am glad I am not in the market for athletic shoes. Notice that shoes can be purchased on credit over twelve months. To be fair these are imported shoes which are taxed heavily. (Anything imported is heavily taxed)  Brazilian athletic shoes are cheaper.
If you look closely you can see one pair of shoes sells for R599 which would be around $300. Yikes!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Look what came to visit

One of the missionaries brought a sewing machine with her when she came. She lent it to me so I could make some alterations to some skirts. You probably won't believe it what with all my posts about food but I have lost over 10 pounds since arriving in Brazil. I was able to take in the skirts so they will not be falling off of me. I don't have a piecing project so no piecing was done. It is funny but so far I haven't missed the quilting.

Remember my start on the Lollypop Trees block? It was a false start. I cut out some leaves and circles and when I stood back and looked at it, it was really ugly. I need to regroup and try again but for now the block is in a cupboard waiting.

Green Parrots

There is a large flock of green parrots that like to congregate in the trees outside our window. They really are very noisy beasts. They get together early in the morning and discuss what they are going to do for the day. I don't mind their planning I just wish it wasn't so early.

I have been trying to get a picture of them but they are green and the trees are green and the trees are very tall. All my attempts of getting a photo have been for naught. Well Tuesday morning when I was walking into the temple I noticed they were in a tree that had lost its leaves. There they were, visable. I zoomed in (with the lens) as much as I could. See? They are planning.

Produce store

One of the great blessings of being here is associating with other North American missionaries who have been here for awhile. They share where you can find stuff you might be looking for. We were shown a great produce store. Every time I walk into that store and see all the wonderful colors I want to make a quilt.

There is the usual produce that I am familiar with:
Aren't these beautiful?



Papaya and Avocados



Apple Bananas
 These mini bananas taste just like apples, or so I am told. I haven't tried them yet. They are more expensive than apples so what is the point?

Then there is some produce I have no idea what you would do with:
 These look like hairy cucumbers.
At first I thought these were star fruit but they are peppers. I don't think they are very hot.

One of my favorite finds are these tangerines. They are very wrinkly and they peel very easily. They have great flavor. We buy a lot of these.
For sure we are not starving here in Brazil. Love the produce.

We have a winner and a loser

In our quest to find a replacement for our chocolate treat we tried a few brands and finally found a winner. Cashews in chocolate? What's not to like?
While perusing the grocery isles we come upon many interesting products. One that caught our attention was bacon flavored popcorn. Again, what's not to like? We bought a package and gave it a go. While it was popping Mike read the label and found that it was in fact not bacon flavored but aroma enhanced. So it smelled like bacon but in actuality did not taste like bacon. We were disappointed. But for a few days after the microwave oven smelled good.

What a Saturday

A few Saturdays ago when we were walking from our apartment to the temple we caught a sight of the bus parking lot. Instead of the usual 4-5 buses there were 10. We knew then it would be a busy day.

Little did we know how busy. We had a lot of patrons but not may workers. There was a skeleton crew to help those who came. One blessing of being busy is that time flies by. At the end of the day we came home feeling grateful that we survived. This was a day we knew we were needed and that we had made a difference.